Date: July 22, 1927
Location: Rapid City, SD
My son John is attending summer school at the University of Vermont at Burlington. I don’t know just when their summer school finishes. It began right after the 4th of July and it is my impression it runs about six weeks, which would bring it up to somewhere about the middle of August. When he has finished there, I expect he will come out here.
There has been no change in my opinion concerning a special session of the Congress.
The Board of Engineers are taking up the matter of repairing the dikes in the Mississippi flood area and it is my desire to make available such funds as are possible for that purpose out of the United States Treasury. It is rather difficult to form any opinion as to what ought to be done about financing the flood control and taking care of the financial situation without going into the whole topic. Of course I can not do this until the report of the engineers comes in and such other investigations as I may cause to be made, so that I wouldn’t be able to give any final judgment about what the Government should do about closing all levees or meeting interest or amortization charges on levee bonds. My first impression would be to question very seriously whether the United States Government ought to pay any interest or amortization charges on outstanding local bonds, but that of course is all an open question and I wouldn’t be able to give any final decision about it.
Question: Did you say local bonds?
President: Yes. Of course, the U. S. Government has no bonds. The local levee districts have bonds. I don’t know just what they include, whether they are State, district, county, or how they manage it, but they make their contribution to the building companies that issue the bonds in many instances.
I wouldn’t want to undertake to make any decision about prospective tax reduction without first talking with members of the Congress. As I have pointed out a good many times, the matter of taxation is especially a matter for initiation in the House of Representatives, and while it isn’t in any way unbecoming for a President to form a plan of tax reduction and present it to the Congress I don’t think he ought to do that without consultation with the heads of the committees. I understand that the Committee on Ways and Means, I think it is, of which Mr. Greene of Iowa is Chairman, is making a study of the tax question. I wouldn’t want to make any statement relative to what ought to be done without finding out from him, and of course from the Treasury Department, what studies have been made and what the results of those studies reveal. That I have not done.
Question: Is Mr. Greene coming here, so far as you know?
President: I had seen some reference in the paper to the fact that he might come here. I think I suggested to him before I left Washington that I would be pleased to have him drop up here to see me. When his investigations have made some progress we might confer together relative to the financial situation of the Government, I don’t recall that I have had any direct communication with him since I have been in the Black Hills.
It is difficult to form any reliable judgment here on the progress that is being made by the Naval Limitation Conference. While I have reports from it, I do not see all the papers that pass between the State Department and the Conference, or have a chance to talk with the Navy Department relative to it. I think all the formal dispatches, however, that are sent by the State Department are sent up here to me, and all the formal dispatches that are received from our delegation are sent up here. I have been very much impressed with the ability and discretion with which our delegation has presented the position of this Government; both Mr. Gibson and the Admiral have been I think especially effective in taking charge of the interests of the American Government at the Conference.
Question: You don’t see anything unfavorable to some success?
Pres: I think they will be able to reach some agreement.
I don’t think the Church Service Association of the City of Washington has been brought to my attention. The only information I have about it is that which would be indicated by its name.
Question: You said your position on the special session hadn’t changed? I am wondering if it would be asking too much to restate that position.
President: No, I don’t think I will undertake to restate it.
Question: Do you know how long your son will stay?
President: He will stay here until we return to Washington. I don’t think his college opens until probably about the 20th of September.
Question: Then we will stay here any way not longer than the 20th?
President: I would hardly expect to stay here until the 20th of September.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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